Protect Those You LOVE Update your beneficiary today
When you sign up for health insurance, life insurance, 401(k) or any other bank or investment account, you are required to list a beneficiary to receive the proceeds should you pass away. Oftentimes, people fill out the form and move on, maybe even forgetting about which beneficiary is on which account. In hindsight, that seems to have been the case for Sam Smith, a retired federal employee.
Sam Smith had been married three times. During his second marriage, he signed up for a life insurance policy and listed his then-wife, Sally Smith, as the beneficiary of the policy. Some years later, he divorced and remarried.
Then in 2008, Sam Smith died at the age of 66 from leukemia. Among the nonprobate assets he left behind was his life insurance policy, valued at $162,521.03. Unfortunately, he had neglected to update his beneficiary designations. His ex-wife Sally filed for—and received—those benefits, despite being divorced from Warren for more than ten years.